Photo Contest

A photographer holding the camera up to her face.
2019 Joshua Tree National Park Photo Contest. Enter on Instagram using #JTNPphotocontest. Entry closes on May 31, 2019.

NPS / Hannah Schwalbe


2019 Contest Theme: The Path Less Traveled

Show us the more inconspicuous and less crowded parts of Joshua Tree National Park through your eyes. Entries can include, any area of the park except for closed sites and the most popular areas. Popular areas include Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, Skull Rock, Split Rock and Ryan Mountain. Tell us about your experience exploring a less well-known area of the park.

Grand Prize

The winning image will be featured on the 2020 Joshua Tree National Park Annual Pass. The winner will be announced on June 17, 2019.

This year, the winner will also receive a 2020 Joshua Tree National Park Annual Pass, courtesy of The Joshua Tree National Park Association, our non-profit partners. The pass will be delivered by mail and may not arrive until January or February 2020. The winner will not be able to use this pass until it has been delivered. Top images will be featured on park social media accounts.

How to Enter

  • Entries will be accepted during May 2019. Contest winner will be announced June 17, 2019.
  • Entries will only be accepted via Instagram. Entrants must post an image using the hashtag #JTNPphotocontest to enter. Posts should also tag @joshuatreenps and include a caption describing why the photo fits this years theme, the path less traveled.
  • Judging will be conducted by park staff. Members of the park's social media team will narrow entries to a top 10 and park staff will vote on their favorite image.
  1. Entries should show best practices for visiting national parks and public lands. Photographers and visitors are not allowed to harass wildlife or pick vegetation at any time. Touching or baiting wildlife is a form of harassment. Images containing illegal or prohibited activities will be disqualified. It is the entrant's responsibility for knowing and following park regulation.
  2. The contest is open to all. Entrants under 18 years of age require the permission of a parent or guardian. By entering the contest, entrants under 18 years of age indicate that they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian.
  3. Photos must be the original, unaltered work of the entrant.
  4. Photos must be taken within the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park.
  5. By submitting, the entrant agrees that they are the sole copyright owner of the image. By submitting an entry the entrant (in case of minors, the minor's parent/legal guardians) grants the National Park Service, or its authorized representatives and contractors, the right to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute or display and use these materials in whole or in part, for government and non-government purposes, in any manner or media (whether now existing or created in the future), in perpetuity, and in all languages throughout the world. Use of this material shall include, but not be limited to, audiovisual programs; museum exhibits; websites; publications; product artwork; and project publicity. Additionally, entrants waive the right to inspect or approve any use of the material and any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of the material.

    The entrant holds harmless and release and forever discharge the National Park Service from all claims, demands, and causes of action which I, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators, or any other persons acting on my behalf or on behalf of my estate have or may have by reason of this authorization.

    The entrant agrees to indemnify and hold the Government harmless for any and all losses, claims, expenses, suits, costs, demands and damages or liabilities on account of personal injury, death, or property damages of any nature whatsoever and by whomsoever made, arising out of the activities associated with the project in which I am taking park.
  6. Size requirements: photos must be a minimum of 960 pixels wide.
  7. If selected as a winning image, the Entrant must be able to provide the highest resolution version of the image possible via email.

  8. Do not use Instagram to edit your image (no filters, tilt shift, color correction, brightness/contrast, etc). Use of editing features in the Instagram app may disqualify entries.
  9. Entries with watermarks may be disqualified.
  10. Participants may enter as many images as they wish.
  11. Photos posted to Instagram before July 2018 will be disqualified. If you want to enter a photo taken before July 2018, you must upload the photo as a new post on Instagram.


Past Contest Winners

Check out some of the winning photos from past years.
Night sky over Joshua Trees
2016 Photo Contest Winner: Joshua Tree Hemingway Milkyway Moonrise

Isaac Gibbs

A lone person sits atop a boulder pile as fog fills the background
2017 Photo Contest Winner: Visitor on Rock at Indian Cove with Fog

Ed Lily

A Joshua tree silhouetted by the sun
2018 Photo Contest Winner: Joshua Tree Silhouetted by Sunset

Chris Olivas

Last updated: May 14, 2019

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